Gaba & Yoga

What does GABA has to do with Yoga? Or Anxiety? Or Depression? Or Stress and Overwhelm?

A lot!

GABA receptor

“GABA is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian nervous system. It cools things off and chills things out.” explains Emily Deans MD in Evolutionary Psychiatry and Psychology Today”

Simply put, we have neurotransmitters which excite us, get us moving and doing and running and fighting and stressing out like:

  • adrenaline,
  • nor-adrenaline
  • dopamine
  • serotonin
  • glutamate

–> which have an excitatory function, meaning they stimulate neuron firing.

So, you can easily see that without enough Gaba in our system, which regulates the function of the brain and muscles, our neurons  are easily triggered, so they tend to fire way too easily and too often.

Gaba is an amino-acid that is produced in your body from glutamate (not protein like we’re used to thinking when it comes to amino-acids).

If you drink coffee, the Gaba receptors are inhibited, so you are more agitated and buzzed up. While if you take a benzo (valium, ambien, xanax, etc) or a glass of wine, they tickle the Gaba receptors which induces the chill out, relaxed effect.

What reduces GABA levels in the body?

  • high amount of caffeine
  • chronic stress
  • alcohol withdrawal (hangover anyone?)
  • chronic pain
  • not enough sleep
  • low levels progesterone
  • too much loud noise (phonic pollution)
  • too much electromagnetic radiation
  • lack of minerals like zinc, iron, manganese
  • low levels of vitamin B1 & B6

Problem is that if you induce this effect in an artificial way – taking meds or drinking wine etc – you have to deal with the side effects. Withdrawal never looks pretty! … except when it comes into the form of a pile of cash in your hand from the ATM machine.

And then there’s the addiction factor! You introduce substances in an artificial manner, the body has no idea how to rebalance it as quickly as those substances ware off, the Gaba levels go way down and you’re left with a craving that we only know how to satisfy by introducing more wine or

For more explanation of how this is all working, check out Dr. Fred Von Stieff’s videos:

GABA Neurotransmitters, Anxiety, and the Dangers of Benzodiazepines

Up to now people said: “take more benzos or drink a glass with me, you’ll feel better right away” And that was the only way we knew how to artificially replenish out Gaba levels.

Well not anymore! 🙂

Boston University Medical School published a study that proves that people who do yoga for only 1 hour have a 27% GABA increase in the brain (measured via MRI)! 

How cool is that?! I think it’s uber cool! 🙂

For the dorks like myself, here’s the study. Read up!

There are plenty of studies on this subject – look it up! And do some yoga! 🙂